Case Study Pros And Cons

What is a Case Study?

  • usually based in social science
  • in-depth longitudinal (over a long period of time) investigation of a single individual, group, or event
  • systematic way of looking at events, collecting data, analyzing information and reporting results
  • can lend themselves to generating and testing hypotheses
  • investigating a phenomenon within its real-life context
  • can be qualitative or quantitative

Why choose a Case Study?

  • seeks reasoning from specific events to generalization
  • usually offers new variables and further questioning

Designing a Case Study

  • determine goals of study
  • select subject
  • select appropriate method of gathering data


  • usually kept to only one participant or a small group
  • should be provided with background or history of participant (may be needed to analyze or draw conclusions)

Data Collection (could be any or all):

  • documents
  • archival records
  • interviews
  • direction observation
  • participant observation
  • artifacts


  • more valid if information gathered from more than one source
  • can lead to more questions (further research ideas)

To Justify Validity and Reliability

  • may need extensive time on site
  • use a variety of data collection sources

Essay Pros and Cons of Using a Case Study in Research

2636 WordsApr 4th, 201311 Pages

Case Study Case study research is an investigation of a “bounded system” or a case or multiple cases over time through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information (e.g., observations, audio-visual materials, reports, etc.) (Creswell, 1998). During data collection, Yin (1989) recommended six types of data collection for case studies: 1) documentation; 2) archival records; 3) interviews; 4) direct observations; 5) participant observations; and 6) physical artifacts. Case studies are bounded as they are reflective of a particular program, event, individual, or activity being studied at a particular place and time. Thus, Merriam (1988) described a case study as “an examination of a specific…show more content…

There is occasionally reluctance for research consumers to give credence to the results of a case study if the message is disputed due to the limited number of subjects involved. Depending on the scope of the research, the subject studied may not be completely forthcoming with the information they provide the researcher, thus impacting the internal validity of the research. In addition, if the subjects being studied know they are being watched, they may alter their behavior, thereby causing the findings to be flawed. In addition, there may background information on a subject, which is not known as a result; may impact the results of the findings. Additionally, the researcher gives up a certain amount of their control other variables when conducting a case study. Case studies are valuable in the fact they allow detailed research to be conducted on a limited research population. Therefore, this research is very specific and in-depth and contains very detailed written records about a subject. However, this causes the report surrounding the study to become very extensive and often difficult for the reader to digest. The researcher must be cognizant of this and strive to present the material in a fashion that allows it to be deciphered. The researcher uses case study to prove their theory is correct and therefore, may be more likely to use a wide scope to interpret the data. The researcher must be

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